Marilyn Minter

Bejeweled and begrimed. Seductive yet repulsive. Marilyn Minter’s Strut, a dirty heel wearing a Dior stiletto, is enamel painted on metal.

Allison Harding, assistant curator of contemporary art at the Asian Art Museum, writes:

Despite the excesses of Minter’s work, I cannot stop staring at one small speck of grime on the larger-than-life heel. It is just under the fleshy, swollen fold of the skin right about where the ankle meets the heel. It looks wet, three-dimensional, and for reasons I cannot quite express, outright disgusting. I feel this filthy speck and it sends shivers down my spine, undoing the façade of glamorous. It is just too close to real life. Of course, this is exactly the point. Minter’s subject reminds us that, in the end even the most glamorous figure will be covered in dirt.

How do you respond to Strut? Is it beautiful? Revolting? Glamorous? Gorgeous? Or something else?

Gorgeous brings together the collections of the Asian Art Museum and SFMOMA. The exhibition, on view at the Asian Art Museum, explores the extremes and ambiguities of beauty, inviting viewers to draw their own conclusions.